Inspecting and Understanding Your Roof
Commercial roofing is different than residential roofing, and then again, it isn’t. The roofing on commercial and residential structures both protect the structure, contents, and people inside. However, in most cases, the roof on a commercial building is more significant than a residential roof. One area they both are alike is the need for a roof inspection, either for monthly maintenance or possible roof damage.
The purpose of a roof inspection is to check the normal wear and tear or see if there is any damage after a storm. For residential roofing, a roof inspection serves the same purpose, but on a smaller scale, and it isn’t as intensive because there are different roofing materials. A professional commercial roof consultant is a person that can determine if roof repair or roof replacement is needed.
What does a roof consultant do?
A professional roof consultant is trained in commercial or residential roofing to know what problem areas look like it is repairable or a replacement. They will provide expert guidance to the building owner and manager on what is best and then work with them in the designing, installation of new roofing. They will teach the existing owner or maintenance team on the maintenance, repair, and upkeep of the commercial roofing.
How long does it take to inspect a roof?
A commercial building roof inspection can take between 30 minutes to one hour. Factors that can determine the time it takes to complete a roof inspection are the size of the roof, the number of penetrations, the number of levels and sections, and the different types of roofs on the structure.
How do I know if I need a new roof? and What is considered roof damage?
These are two popular questions when it comes to commercial or residential roofing. Nobody wants to spend money on a new roof. A commercial roofing consultant will schedule an appointment with the building owner or manager. A roof inspection may find any requires a new roof of the following signs of roof damage:
- 1. Sagging
- The roof gets wet when it rains, and nothing you can do about that. However, when water is still on the roof after the rain stops and the sun comes out, you may have a problem with sagging areas. Sagging areas on a roof can often be from compromised joists, rafters, or the sheathing, and could be an indication of a leak. A roof consultant or inspector will examine this sagging closer with a thorough roof inspection and look for other sagging areas.
- 2. Musty
- When you walk into a building and smell musty odors, there is mold somewhere in that building, and mold comes from moisture. Sometimes an excellent, thorough cleaning will rid the odor permanently, and adjusting the humidity level can keep it from coming back. However, if those things do not work, then there is either a plumbing leak or a roof leak. Either way, allowing that moisture to linger can do two things: Cause health issues for your employees and customers. The leak will weaken the structure, either the roof, walls, or foundation, and compromise the structure’s safety. Contact roof consulting services that will perform a roof inspection to find where there is a possible leak. If no roof leak, then a plumber should be your next phone call.
- 3. Damage
- Are you seeing peeling paint or water stains on the ceiling or walls? Are you placing buckets around the building inside to catch rain? That is annoying, dangerous, and tacky looking. Anyone can trip over these buckets, spill the water, and hurt themselves. Once you have to set a bucket out, even once, do an internet search for “roof consultant near me” and request a roof inspection. Any sign of possible water damage to the roof should be addressed immediately. Catching problems early on will minimize the amount of work needed to fix the leak and not need a completely new roof.
- 4. Blisters and Bubbles
- Commercial roofing is typically flat or low sloped, meaning that it is prone to air pockets, bubbles, and cracks in the roofing membrane. These are places that come from moisture accumulating under the membrane through a crack or separated seam. Then air gets in there. Upon a roof inspection, if a blister or bubble is found localized in the membrane, the roof consultant will recommend repairs. This blister or bubble needs to be removed, the area cleaned, and then repair made over the area. For a commercial building, if a blister or bubble area can be repaired, it gives the flat roof a longer lifespan before having to take on the cost of a new roof.
- 5. Energy Bills
- Your roof may not have any apparent issues like blisters, bubbles, cracks, or separating seams, but you are noticing the energy bills are higher than the same time last year. While a slight increase should be expected, a significant increase may indicate you need a roof inspection. If the roofing membrane is ten years old or older, it may be time to have it re-roofed with a reflective roof coating. This re-roofing process can get another 3 to 5 years life out of the current roofing before you have to endure a new roof.
- 6. Drains
- After the next torrential downpour, check the drains around the building, and if you don’t see water coming out of them, you need to have a roof inspection performed. Because commercial roofing is flat, often, the drains get covered up with debris, dirt, leaves, even small critters. These are things that a monthly roof inspection can watch for so that you don’t have to worry about clogged drains causing water to pond and puddle on the flat roof.
- 7. Loose Roof Material
- Extreme weather conditions like heavy rains and high winds can cause damage to a commercial roof that isn’t visible from the ground. A roof inspection by your maintenance staff or a professional roof consultant will find if there are any loose or missing roofing materials. What you can’t see from the ground could be causing you higher energy bills, and it is also shortening the lifespan of your current roof.
In Closing – What do you do if your roof blown off?
The first thing and most important thing is the safety of your customers and employees. If the entire roof has been blown off your commercial building, have everyone evacuate to a safe place immediately. Next, call the insurance company and a professional commercial roofing contractor. Depending on the current weather actions, cover the area with plastic tarps or remove everything you can to a safe place.
Keeping your commercial building insurance current and valid is essential just for reasons like this … The unexpected and unplanned. We never know what weather Mother Nature has in store for us. An evacuation plan will inform everyone where to go in an emergency so that headcount is essential.